Australian chain introduces deaf-friendly policy

17 May, 2018 by
Brittney Levinson

Australian restaurant brand Rashays has set out to become the country’s first deaf-friendly restaurant brand, introducing a training program for its staff to learn Australian sign language, Auslan.

After successfully rolling out the initiative at its Punchbowl store in Sydney’s South West, the deaf-friendly training program will be rolled out across the group’s 22 restaurants throughout New South Wales and the ACT.

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“There are deaf restaurants where deaf people are employed, but we’re the first restaurant to employ hearing staff and make it mandatory for them to learn basic Auslan,” says Rashays founder Rami Ykmour. “We’re the first of our kind world-wide.”

Each employee will have access to an internal sign language training portal to ensure there is at least one member of staff who can sign during each shift.

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The program is still a work in progress with the goal for all restaurants to be deaf-friendly by 2019, but the current plan involves bringing on deaf employees and an interpreter to train Rashays staff in Auslan.

The early training sessions will be recorded, giving future employees access to resources for their own training.

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In addition to the sign-language online training, Rashays is also making a commitment to employing more members of staff that have hearing difficulties.